Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari save the day after India capitulate on first day of red ball test

Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari put on a 195-run stand to save India the blushes. (Twitter/BCCI)

Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari saved the blushes for India on the first day of the three-day practice match against New Zealand XI at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Friday.

On a day when eight Indians failed to get their scores into double digits, Pujara (93) and Vihari (101*) batted for close to five hours and bailed India out of trouble on a green pitch with help on offer for seamers. Ajinkya Rahane (18) was the only other batsman to get his score into double digits.

Four Indians bagged ducks, among them opening prospects Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw. Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin also failed to get off the mark.

India were reduced to 38/4 in the morning session itself, before the 195-run partnership between Pujara and Vihari stretched across three sessions took them to 233/5. Another flurry of wickets late in the day saw India putting up 263 at Stumps on Day 1.

Ish Sodhi and Kuggeleijn were the pick of the bowlers, with 3 wickets each.

The red ball sojourn of the tour of New Zealand could easily have started off on a nightmarish note for Team India, had it not been for a fighting partnership between Pujara and Vihari, the two Test specialists.

Scores:

Shaw 0
Agarwal 1
Pujara 93
Gill 0
Rahane 18
Vihari 101*
Pant 7
Saha 0
Ashwin 0
Umesh 9*
Jadeja 8